August Update – It’s been a while
I know it has been a bit since an update, but I wanted to let make sure that people know that work has been happening! So I would love to give an update to what is happening. A bit has shifted, so this is going to be pretty long
New Team Members!
One of the major things that I was working on since May has been expanding the personnel of the Guildmaster dev team. Quinaphonic is the Music Supervisor, creating unique tracks for the game! Quinaphonic is an avid fan of music and has been doing music for a few years personally, and he is looking to expand his portfolio by working on professional projects, and we are delighted to have him.
Among the songs he has created for the game, I love the theme for the “Guild quarters”, the main base used throughout the game, (hopefully) listed below:
One of the major areas that I realized that I need to delegate work to was writing. I intend for their to be a large number of character interactions in Guildmaster, with a large cast of characters available for play. SO I began looking for writers to help flesh out the world of Langris.
One such writer is Bryce Clemens. Bryce Clemens is great at establishing deep lore and thinking about what historical things impact the landscape of a fictional world. In May Bryce came on as the Lead writer, with the role of helping establishing the lore in Langris are working with me to create the rules for the world. Bryce is also working on his own projects in his free time, with his first book Palatine: Heir released in2018, and working on future books. You can check out Palatine here:
Another writer that joined recently as a character and quest writer was GhostJenson. Since joining the project Ghosty has added a number of interesting characters that I am excited to see come to fruition as we continue working on the project and flesh out the characters. Ghosty is also working on their own game in the meantime, which I’m confident will be great if their work so far is any indicator.
On top of writing, I also realized that an aspect that I wanted help in was mapping. As much as I really enjoy map making, it can be tedious and time consuming, especially when I have to do logistical work like ad
ding content and info to databases, coding effects, creating assets and planning systems. So AxelNinjaGamer joined the team as a mapper and environment writer. Axel has created a few demos for projects of their own, and I enjoyed some of the character interactions in their projects, which I am looking forward to seeing those talents and skills come to fruition in GM: Langris. You can check out Axel’s demo for Twisted Crusade here (I recommend that you turn your volume down, the title music can be loud)
There are a few folks that I am talking to about helping in a few other areas, but so far, the team is looking pretty good!
Now is the time where I tell you what we’ve been working on in game.
As mentioned before, the writing team has expanded significantly, and as such, we have a host of new characters, quest threads and such coming to the game.
Battle System Updates
I have been very intent on making sure that the battle system of the GM is:
- Simple but engaging and
- Rewarding to master
- FUN and enjoyable
As such I put a lot of time into making changes to the battle system. Using a combination of plugins and scripting, I have retooled the battle system significantly. Using FallenAngelOlivia’s OTB system as a base, and utilizing boost points, I have created a system that I believe will achieve the goals I listed.
Hitting a battler’s weakness generates “Spirit Charges” which can boost the damage, increase combos and even unlock specific abilities during combat. Hitting a target’s weakness also gains an additional action for the next round of combat. This opens up strategic decision making when confronting foes as well as choosing what skills you will teach to your party members. Hitting a weakness, degrades an target’s “shields” as well. Taking the concept from Octopath’s battle system, once a shield is broken, a character is stunned for a round and they take significantly more damage from ALL attacks.
Another aspect of the battle system which was highlighted in an image upload is the “smug glaring” mechanic. There is a mechanic in the game called “glaring”, where there is a slight chance when a battler is hit with an element that they have an affinity (resistance) for, they will enter a state called glaring, where their next physical attack is near guaranteed a critical hit or their next magic spell is tripled (damage or recovery), and their evasion is greatly increased. In the moment that they glare, they will also restore a percentage of Vitality. Because the vitality is restored BEFORE the death step, this can actually save a battler from a deadly blow
Combining these factors creates a dynamic system (i think) which will be fun to implement in enemy design. Especially as the Enemy AI will utilize these mechanics to their advantage as well!
Another aspect of the game that will be key is the shaping of Rudne’s reputation and personality through player choice. In figuring out a simply way to implement a personality shaping system, I was intent on not trying to reinvent the wheel. As such I looked at existing systems that discuss or determine personality types. After some thought I landed on the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) since it already has personality types listed with titles and names and it’s easy to create binary variances that accumulate into a clear outcome (I.E> You said this thing, in this way so that means you are this type of person). As much as I (and much of the psychology community) are skeptical of the actual validity of Myers-Briggs, in game design, we have the luxury of not giving a damn about how accurate something is when we are implementing binary systems in a game about creating an adventuring guild in a magical land where a lady gave gifts to dragon-folk, knock-off elves and cat-samurai.
Basically, you will have choices that shift your personality along spectrums and those spectrums will determine your personality/ reputation. That reputation allows certain dialogue options later in the game, and even new quests, random encounters and relationships throughout the story.
Mapping and Other Minor updates
I have been working on figuring out what maps are crucial for the demo, and what maps I will be delegating to Axel to get him started on the project. I have also been working on some basic mapping details and streamlining common event creation so that we can create maps faster in the future.
I created the basic setups for the first 2 towns and the first “dungeon” area, as well as the first few bosses and key interactions in various stages of implementation and planning.
On top of that, there has been a LOT of data input, plotting out skill learning, class specialization and creating/updating weapons and items. All of this is fairly boring and menial, so I don’t need much detail on that. (I suppose other parts of this update are also boring and menial, but I was excited to write about them, so…)
Let’s Talk about Filenames
SO…This means very little to anyone who doesn’t play develop games in RPGMMV, but your file names matter guys! I learned this the hard way after realizing that deploying a game will fail if certain characters are in your filenames. THere are ample resources that talk about these details on the net, but this isn’t something you realize until you go to deploy the game, whic in some scenarios can mean HOURS of work spent where certain files are referenced all throughout the code and in various local events.
There are (thankfully) some great free programs and workflow processes that can make it easier to go through your project and make changes when you find this happening, but it is still a tedious and frustrating process. It may have been mentioned in documentation about resource filenames, but I certainly missed it. Either way it sucks to do and I highly recommend going through and double checking that your file names are as simple and characterless as possible as you are importing resources my friends, it will save you a crap ton of heart ache and lost sleep in the future.
We are slowly getting to the point of having the “Pre-guild” portion of the game available for demo. This part will showcase much of what I mentioned in this blog. THe to do list is still fairly long, but these are the key things we will need before that occurs.
- Story plotting and eventing, mapping scenes for different story moments
- Integrating the quest journal with gameplay elements that are related to it. (Starting quests, programing NPCs that change depending on quests available)
- Creating a decen amount of introductory quests (~5 or more)
- Establishing the rules for the reputation and using them more in dialogue
- Crafting system for armor, weapons etc.
- Fully plan skill learning system for characters (Determine what options will be available to individual characters.)
We’re getting there, and I am excited for when we finally make it. Thanks for staying tuned and your patience, we hope to create a solid game that you can enjoy.